For our New Year’s Eve edition, we’d rather focus less on the term “resolution” and more on the term “hope” when looking ahead to 2012.
First of all, we hope politicians can work together more to accomplish the greater good, not just in this area but throughout the country.
This statement probably caused you to do a spit-take with your hot chocolate or beverage of choice, but hear us out. In Essex County, the supervisors did just that, approving a budget that was rich in compromise.
At the end of the process, each of the 18 town administrators came away with something that they liked about the budget, but also came away from the table frustrated. A lot of times, their frustration came from different sides of the same coin. Some were frustrated the tax levy increase did not meet the state’s 2 percent cap, and others were upset the levy was too low. Some were upset that 10 positions had to be cut right after the holidays, and others were upset there were not more layoffs.
There were no temporary Band-Aid fixes until the political winds shift. It was compromise.
Congressman Bill Owens recently said he feels 2012 is going to be a terrible year in Washington, D.C. and nothing will get done because it is an election year with both sides of the aisle looking to blame each other.
We all know that is the truth. But are we just going to take it? If that truly is the motivation of our politicians, then the message needs to be sent that we want someone in office who is looking out for us, not their personal party interests.
With the upcoming election, we also hope that people will go to the polls and make an informed decision. Don’t just roll with the “what’s happening right now” mentality and look at candidates for local, state and federal positions, including president, as a whole. Each candidate will have pros and cons. What the informed voter does is weigh those options in total and then decide who they feel best represents their interests in government.
It seems that people want to have an “American Idol” conclusion to the presidential race, bringing a candidate up just to find out how fast they can chop them down. It has been done with each of the front-runners in the Republican Party (obviously not on the Democratic side because they have the incumbent, but it would be if the field were open). When a candidate is shown to have weakness, it is almost as if that candidate has been “voted off” as a presidential hopeful. The sound bite has become more important than the platform, and that should not be the case.
Our next hope is for a safe and happy year ahead. While 2011 had many shining moments, it was also a year when the region saw massive spring flooding, only to be followed by a tropical storm that battered the region and left many properties and lives damaged. Some, including Essex County Board of Supervisors Chairman Randall “Randy” Douglas, are concerned that a new year could bring more problems, and we hope that is not the case.
Our final hope is that the steps taken by the North Country Regional Economic Development Council and the state will start to turn the economy around. For a region that does not have a lot of trust in the name, the honeymoon period between it and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has appeared to extend throughout his first year in office. Cuomo has shown a concern for all parts of the state and has built trust with North Country delegates, which is something we hope will continue into the next year.
Happy New Year.
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